~~River Flows In You~~
~by Realmweaver~

To by beta for this story, and writing buddy, enomix! Thanks so much!
Song by Yiruma

Using just the fingers on her left hand, Hermione Granger could count the amount of people who knew she could play piano. Surprised? I would be too. I mean, this was Hermione Granger. She was the ultimate magical encyclopedia, barely able to pull away from her dusty tomes to hang out with her friends. But believe it; she played. Not exceedingly well, of course; she had only been playing for about three years. And she had the misfortune of not being able to play by ear, which I am sure would've helped her along considerably. But she had picked it up during the summer after second year and had been determined to keep playing, even when she was at Hogwarts.

So at the beginning of third year she asked Professor Flitwick, the choir instructor as well as the charms professor, if she could borrow the piano chamber beside the choir practice room every few nights a week after dinner. He had replied saying "Of course, Miss Granger. But I've also granted permission to another student, and he'll be there sometimes as well. I'm sure you can respect that he asked first, and to not interrupt him if you walk in on him." And then he pulled out a small silver key from his pocket and handed it to Hermione. "Be sure to lock up every night, though, dear."

As much as she was thinking about how creepy it was that he had called her "dear", that was still overridden by her wonders on who exactly the other piano player was. She didn't think it would be much less than awkward running around the school asking random students if they played piano at the school. So she didn't.

Three years went by and still Hermione had never run into him.

~RFIY~

That night in December—a week or two before the holidays—was cold; you could feel it through the heavy stones that walled the castle. The hallways that faced the courtyards and open windows were the worst. But Hermione wasn't bothered by it. She was sitting in front of a magnificent grand piano, boasting immaculate keys and a deep black coat of paint so polished that all it took was a candle to set it aglow. Hermione was in the piano chamber, a fire roaring on the other side of the room. Her books were spread out along the floor; she had used the room to do homework in for the first half-an-hour or so that she was there, preferring not work in the Gryffindor Common Room or the dormitories that particular night. In front of her were three sheets of sheet music, the first one with the words "River Flows in You" typed onto the header.

It was a muggle song, probably known most because of series of muggle films and books called "Twilight". Hermione had heard the song before reading or seeing the series, and instantly fell in love with it. The steadily flowing notes, all stringing together to form a necklace of diamonds, entranced her the moment she heard them. The melody was all in the high treble area, which immediately had Hermione humming its delicate tune. It reminded her of the stars; of their strength, as well as their purity and beauty.

A week later she had the sheet music, which she took to Hogwarts, of course, and began to work at it vigorously, ignoring the lesson and warm-up books her teacher had assigned her for the semester.

She wasn't amazing at the piece yet, but she was getting there. Every day that Hermione practiced she could feel the progress through her fingers and her ear, and she was getting excited. Soon she would have it down completely, and who knows; maybe she would play it for Harry and Ron some time as a surprise.

When she decided that she was finished for the night—after playing the piece almost a dozen times through—the Gryffindor stood up and packed her things into her bag, donned her cloak, stepped out of the room, locking the door behind her.

Immediately she felt the chill of winter biting at her face, and almost ran back into the fire-warmed room. But she didn't, and carried on back towards Gryffindor Tower.

Hermione was half-way to the tower when she realized that she might have left the sheet music on the piano. She stopped immediately, knelt on the floor, and rummaged through her bag. Her search was unsuccessful.

"Damn it," she muttered to herself, and promptly turned back around and headed towards the piano chamber.

She was ten feet away when she heard it.

It was her song, her sheet music'd song, River Flows in You, being played almost flawlessly inside the piano chamber.

The other player, Hermione thought to herself excitedly. Maybe tonight she would finally get to meet him! In the beginning, she had promised that if she ever ran across him that she should just steer clear. But she couldn't help but listen. So she sat down against the wall and listened, amazed that the other player could just pick up a piece that complicated and get it almost perfect.

Her curiosity soon overwhelmed her, and she stood up, leaving the bag against the wall. You're not going to disturb him, Hermione tried to convince herself. All you're going to do is listen. She opened the door a few inches, hoping that it didn't creak.

It didn't.

Hermione peered at the piano player, whose side was facing her, trying to make out his face in the soft firelight. She didn't have to look hard. The shock of platinum blonde hair told her all she needed to know.

Malfoy! she thought. At first she was feeling a tad livid. The ferret had dared to use her sheet music! That was just unforgivable.

She opened the door another few inches, intent on storming into the room and ripping it off the piano. But then the beauty of the piece took hold of her—not her promise to little Professor Flitwick, I hope you've noticed—and she closed her eyes and listened intently, humming softly.

When the last few notes rang out of the piano, Hermione closed the door softly and backed away from it slowly.

Suddenly, Malfoy came flying out and Hermione whipped herself behind the door and against the wall, breathing heavily as he retreated toward the Slytherin common room. The sound of his footsteps echoed down the hall and faded, eventually disappearing completely. Hermione took a deep breath; he hadn't seen her.

She walked back into the piano chamber and found her sheet music sitting there in a neat, orderly pile, as if it had never been touched at all. Hermione grinned to herself and picked up the three sheets.

Her eyes widened as she caught the little writing in the top left corner of the first sheet:

Granger—thanks for letting me borrow the sheets. That song is brilliant. Where'd you get it? If you mind making me a copy, that would be great. –Malfoy PS. Don't think this makes me like you any better; or at all, for that matter.

Hermione couldn't help but smile. She didn't even wonder how he had known it was her. She just pulled out a quill from her bag and dipped it in an inkwell that had been sitting on the piano. She wrote in the right hand corner:

Malfoy—no problem. You can have this copy if you want it. Unless you mind playing a muggle song. Merry Christmas! –Granger

She put the quill back in her bag and walked out of the room, leaving the sheets on the piano bench, River Flows in You gently slipping through her lips and into the air as she headed once again towards Gryffindor Tower.